Meeko is sick

Posted By: SarahW

Meeko is sick - 12/12/06 04:31 PM

Hi all,

I noticed last night that Meeko was acting kind oflethargically, just hanging out in one corner of the cage. Normally he is very active and runs on his wheel. But when I would go to pet him he would run around, so I made a note to check him in the morning.

This morning he was still up, still sitting in the corner. I went to pet him, and he ran to the food dish. Thought things might be ok till I got a good look at him. He has a deep purple nose, a slow but steady shake to his head, and breathing too fast. His paws are cold. Obviously he is sick, vet apppointment is scheduled in about an hour.

In addition to that, he has a weak crab. Normally he is pretty vocal and pretty quick to nip if he is upset (not hard, but just to send a message). I have isolated him from his cagemate, Joey (who is doing fine, pink nose, normal breathing, no shakes, normal activity), although Joey wanted to hang near him last night (run away, play for a minute, then come back and check on him).

I am worried, please pray for as good a vet visit as can be hoped for...
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/12/06 04:42 PM

Let us know what the vet says wink
Posted By: LSardou

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/12/06 04:44 PM

wave I am so sorry that your baby is sick, I'm sure by now your on your way to the Vet. Good thinking....I will say a prayer and hope that he will be alright. Let us know what you find out..... heart
Posted By: Karin

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/12/06 04:48 PM

Very observant and quick acting on your part for Meeko...wishing your vet visit goes well and Meeko feels better soon...please keep us updated!
Posted By: Xfilefan

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/12/06 04:52 PM

It could be either respiratory, or an infection in the head. If his nose is more reddish than blue, I'd also have the vet do an Xray to see what's in his head/jaw/sinus. Either way you'll need an antibiotic, but it helps to know where to target for. Please update after the vet. hug2
Posted By: pappy1264

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/12/06 05:00 PM

Sending prayers for Meeko. Please let us know when you can.

Posted By: sugarglidersuz

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/12/06 06:03 PM

Praying for Meeko and that all goes well at the vet's. Please do give us an update when you get home...
Posted By: SarahW

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/12/06 06:55 PM

Meeko has an upper respiratory infection. The doctor listened to his lungs and said that only the anterior parts were congested. When the doctor picked him up he was stressed and making that click-click breathing noise, but as soon as he put him down, he relaxed and the noise went away. He is breathing faster but not laboring to do so. The vet also checked his eyes, ears, mouth/gums, and paws.

The vet also found that Meeko is a little dehydrated and has lost a little weight (some from dehydration, but he probably didn't eat much last night or the night before, either). His feces are still the right color and well-formed, so there is no diarrhea. He is shivering (the shaking I observed in his head was him trying to balance against the shivering plus faster breathing). The vet said we caught it early, so that is good news, and that Meeko will be ok in a couple of days, which is even better news.

Meeko will be on Baytril for the next ten days. The vet gave Meeko an injected, higher dose at the office, and instructions to start on .1 mL (it is also a little diluted)twice a day tomorrow. I am to offer him pedialyte tonight and tomorrow to get his fluids/electrolytes back to normal, but the vet also recommended that I feed him some sweet potato baby food (high in complex carbs) the next couple nights so he doesn't lose more weight. I have some curve-tip syringes ready in case he doesn't want to eat. I also have to keep Meeko separate from the other gliders (who all look and act healthy) for the duration of his medication, and to keep an eye on them in case they show signs of illness.

All in all, it is probably as good a trip to the vet as we could have had under the circumstances. I did note that within 20 minutes of the injection, Meeko was able to go to sleep (which he hadn't yet been able to do that morning). Hopefully, this is a good sign. Please keep sending good thoughts our way; I appreciate how concerned people have been!
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/12/06 06:57 PM

I'm so glad to hear your Meeko is on the road to recovery. They're such little fighters. hug2
Posted By: SarahW

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/12/06 06:57 PM

I forgot to add---I am supposed to keep that room a little warmer the next few days, to help with the shivering. The shivering is due to the infection and the dehydration.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/12/06 06:59 PM

I'm glad he is going to be ok!
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/12/06 07:04 PM

sorry you are having problems but your such a good mommy for taking proper care of your baby. hope it is a super speedy recovery.
Posted By: Xfilefan

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/12/06 07:11 PM

I was going to say, keeping him warm right now is a priority. When they are very sick, they can have trouble regulating their body temp, even in what seems to be a warm room. Put extra blankies in his pouch or nestbox, and keep him on you when possible, so he can share your body heat (like in your shirt, a jacket, or robe). Also offer fluids every so often around the clock (it'll help clear the stuff from his lungs). Keep us updated, and I hope he starts feeling better soon.
Posted By: SarahW

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/12/06 07:27 PM

Thanks for the tip on the fluids! I have him in a travel cage right now, near a space heater (not too close, of course!) to keep him warm while I clean the cage he'll be going into. Then he'll be with me all day today and tomorrow.

I am a little worried because I have to go out of town for a few days, but my boyfriend (who lives with the gliders and me) is a good glider sitter and knows what to watch for. Hopefully by Thursday night, when I leave, Meeko will be out of the darkest part of the woods. If not I may have to change travel plans.
Posted By: BCChins

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/12/06 07:36 PM

I hope Meeko feels better soon. Baytril is bitter tasting so he may not like it. Good Luck and keep us posted.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/12/06 07:46 PM

I'm sorry to hear about meeko, good thing you noticed right away! Our vet sends home some A/D food with some debilitated patients. Its a high protein liquid type stuff, but gliders love it. Its made by hills science diet. It seems to help them perk up pretty well too. You can also try some straight up chicken baby food, or maybe extra mealies if he likes them. Really you just want to make sure he eats, but protein help rebuild the body...

sweet potatoes sound like a great idea also, good nutrients, good palatability and easy sugars for the body to make into energy. Please let us know how he is doing. Baytril is a good antibiotic against upper respiratory problems so I am really hoping and expecting this to pull him through.

Posted By: Xglider

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/12/06 07:46 PM

So glad you got Meeko in to the vet and praying for his speedy recovery…
Posted By: SarahW

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/12/06 08:21 PM

I have ensure and pedialyte ready to go, plus sweet potatoes. He is still sleeping, and I am halfway done with cage cleaning. Hopefully I can get all the covers and spare pouches done before they get up!
Posted By: SarahW

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/13/06 12:13 AM

Cages are clean.

Meeko has gotten up a few times this afternoon to survey his new clean surroundings, but he still is hanging out in one area. Plus, it's not normal for him to be up during the day. He is still cold and shivery, but not so much as before.

Please keep him in your thoughts.
Posted By: glidrz5

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/13/06 01:10 AM

If Meeko is a little dehydrated you don't want to give him the ensure. His body will pull all of the moisture out of the mix leaving a clay like substance behind. It would be better to stick with the pedialite until he is hydrated & then offer the ensure
Posted By: LSardou

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/13/06 03:03 AM

I am so happy to hear that Meeko is going to be alright. I'm impressed with your quick response and got him to the vet before it was to late. Your doing a terrific job! Keep us posted on his progress. Did the vet say what was the cause of his infection?
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/13/06 05:23 AM

When I read your first post, I was really worried with the lethargy, coldness, purple nose, etc. It sounds to me like you have a very good vet and the news you got was the best that could be hoped for: a good diagnosis with definite signs you can see, and a good antibiotic to use. I hate when I go in and all I get is "well, yeah she's sick, but we don't really know what's wrong so let's give her this medicine and hope for the best."

Fluids can really work miracles. When they're dehydrated, they feel terrible and so they won't eat or drink, so they get more dehydrated and it spirals down. Be sure to get plenty of fluids into him and if he does seem dehydrated with the skin tent test, take him in for a subQ.

I also agree keeping him warm is an important part of treatment, but it sounds like you're on top of that.
Posted By: Xfilefan

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/13/06 08:31 AM

Thank you for the updates.

Make sure your boyfriend knows to offer lots of fluids-in addition to the pedialyte, which will help him to retain what he drinks, he can offer fruit juice, fruit nectar, and/or slightly watery gliderade in the pouch daytime as well, to encourage him to drink more. Especially with a space heater, which can lower humidity, his drinking will be important to keep fluids in him. I agree with Peepers as well...if he won't stay hydrated, a subq from the vet is the best way to go until he can get his fluid levels back up. If you don't have an issue with giving a shot under the skin, the vet can show you how to do that as well, so you can do it at home in an emergency, and send some extra syringes home with you.

Watching for updates on the little guy!

Oh-and Chris is right as well...if he's dehydrated, DON'T offer Ensure. A dehydrated glider will pull the water out faster than it can be digested, and if he vomits, the claylike substance left behind can choke him, as it won't move either up or down his throat easily. Or it can actually cause a blockage in the lower intestine. BML thinned down with a little extra apple juice is actually better in that situation.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/13/06 12:22 PM

I am so happy that you know the boys so well and were able to catch this early. I have been so busy here with a SM and also supplementing a joey that this is the first time I have been able to get online since yesterday.
Meeko sould be feeling better today, usually the antibiotics start working preaty quickly.
I am keeping you all in my prayers, please have a safe trip, and you can give your boyfriend my number too incase he has a question. Please let me know how things are going. You are a wonderful glider mom.
Posted By: SarahW

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/13/06 05:32 PM

I am trying to be patient, but I don't see many signs of improvement. Meeko ate all of his melon (fresh, very juicy), some yogurt, and some sweet potato baby food last night. He took one mealie from Brendan, which he ate very slowly. And he has been grooming like normal, albeit less with the claws and more with his tongue and front paws.

I want to focus on those positive things, but his breathing seems to be a little more labored today. If he crabs he clicks afterwards for a couple seconds, and he is trying to lunge at me, sometimes with only the slightest bit of touch. I'm worried that he is in pain... Meeko is not as bonded as the others, but we were done with the lunging over a year ago. Everything is drooping, ears, tail, even his eyes are partway closed.

The vet's number is busy... as soon as I can get through to him I will ask him what to do.
Posted By: sugarglidersuz

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/13/06 05:37 PM

He sounds very ill at this point. I wouldn't wait to get through to the vet - I'd drive him directly over there and tell them it's an emergency, that his condition has worsened...
God Bless
Posted By: SarahW

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/13/06 06:21 PM

Talked to the vet. He says Baytril can take 2-3 days to really reverse an infection (he said, "especially a respiratory infection"), but to keep him posted. If Meeko isn't showing good signs of improvement in another 48 hours, we should bring him in. If it gets dramatically worse before then we should bring him in.

So until then... sigh. I just don't want Meeko to be in pain. He is such a good little glider.
Posted By: sugarglidersuz

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/13/06 06:39 PM

You're in the best position to know how he's doing, so if you feel that he's getting worse, then bring him in right away... only you can make that call. In the meantime, I'll keep praying for him & for you. I know it's hard to watch them be in pain cry But at least he knows you love him heart
Posted By: minkasmom

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/13/06 06:39 PM

First of all, you need a few of these hug2 hug2

Now comes the hardest part: patience in letting the medicine get a good grip on Meeko...this is not an easy thing, and remember that keeping a VERY CLOSE EYE on progress is a MUST-DO thing!

It's encouraging that some appetite is present...if you can keep the liquids going, that'll be a VERY HELPFUL thing, too!

Continuing prayers of healing for you & Meeko. angel
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/13/06 06:49 PM

I wonder if you could try putting in one of those warm steam humidifiers in his room. That way you keep the room warmer and humid. Hope he feels better soon.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/13/06 07:04 PM

take it slow..
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/13/06 08:26 PM

Oh Sarah,
I am sorry things haven't improved yet. I know you are taking good care of him and watching him carefully. If you need to talk I am here, please let me know how you both are doing. I am saying prayers....
Posted By: SarahW

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/13/06 10:34 PM

It is a good exercise in patience. Meeko does look better this afternoon. So far he has eaten a grape and a half, and some melon, and his ears are up and eyes wider open. He is still shakey, but I'll take any improvement I can get!
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/13/06 10:42 PM

clap hug2 hug2 hug2 clap
every little improvement is great. keep it up Meeko!
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/13/06 11:38 PM

Oh I'm so glad to hear there's been some improvement! Go Meeko! clap
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/14/06 02:06 AM

Sarah, thats good news. I am still praying hard and looking forward to more good updates.
Posted By: Karin

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/14/06 05:37 AM

Good boy Meeko!!! clap We all want you to get better go give Mom a kiss!
Posted By: SarahW

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/14/06 06:37 AM

Meeko looks tired again, but when he came out of his pouch, he went to the wheel right away. It was the slowest wheel walk I've ever seen, but it was deliberate and it was the most interest he's shown in playing in days. He's not interested in eating right now, but he has juice and pedialyte, juicy fruits and veggies, baby food chicken and sweet potatoes, and some egg (his favorite) to choose from. If he were healthy he would get fat off all the food he has available to him tonight!

He seemed to feel better about five hours after the first dose of medicine today; let's hope he's ramping up to some more bright eyed, perky eared eating in a couple hours.

Hope hope hope!
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/14/06 07:18 AM

I wonder if it is possible to get a sub-q fluid lesson from your vet and some syringes just in case a situation like this occurs.
Posted By: SarahW

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/14/06 09:18 AM

Checked on Meeko again with the tent test. He is not dehydrated; so he is either drinking when I am not watching him, or he is getting enough fluids from his fruits. I hope he eats more of them tonight!

My boyfriend is experienced with the tent test and knows what to do (and who to call) if Meeko gets sick. I think subq is not an issue yet, but you made a good suggestion---if he has to go to get them, I'll have him bring some home.
Posted By: SarahW

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/14/06 03:57 PM

Meeko did not touch his food last night, but he did drink some mango juice. I gave him pedialyte by syringe last night. Not too happy about that. This morning I saw him drinking and brought him out of the cage. He would take and eat melon and grape by hand---he ate about 1 tbsp of fruit hand fed (but would not eat on his own or melon coated with baby food or yogurt. This is odd since he would not touch it in the cage (and it was in two different locations). I got him to eat maybe 1/2 tsp of chicken baby food by syringe. He will get more pedialyte in a little bit.

My boyfriend has offered to work from home today and tomorrow just to keep Meeko more comfortable and just in case an emergency vet visit is required.
Posted By: SarahW

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/14/06 04:30 PM

One thing that came up as a part of this is worth reminding people about--- My vet doesn't release medical information to people outside of my immediate family. Make sure that if your glider sitter (in my case, my boyfriend) is not related to you, that you tell the vet it is ok for them to bring in your animal and to receive info about their condition (or approve treatment).
Posted By: SarahW

Re: Meeko is sick update - Meeko has died - 12/16/06 07:10 AM

I just wanted to let you know that Meeko passed away about an hour ago. Because Meeko was not showing good improvement on the Baytril after 72 hours, the vet switched his medication to trimethoprim sulfa (Bactrim) this morning. After the first dose, Meeko seemed to be improving (he hung upside-down in his cage for a while, ate two mealies, and drank a bit of juice), but when Brendan went to give him the second dose this evening, Meeko seized during the process and couldn't even swallow all of the medicine. Brendan said he made a terrible face, and then opened his mouth and was very still. Brendan tried his best to revive him. He got Meeko breathing, but it was shallow and he was shaking a lot. Meeko died in Brendan's hands on the way to the vet.

Thank you so much for all the prayers and concern and kind words you have sent our way over the past few days. You have all been so kind. This is the first glider I have lost, but knowing there is such a wonderful community out there to support us is comforting (thanks especially to AngieH, who has been so supportive and helpful this whole time).

Meeko was so good at helping me feel better, and I want him to continue helping people even though he's gone. At my university, I study in a biology department and also work in the university's natural history museum. Brendan and I have decided to donate Meeko's body to the museum. They will use his skeleton for comparison, and possibly his tissues for genetic studies. This way, Meeko can help future scientists understand glider and marsupial biology for a long time to come.

I love you, Meeko! Brendan and I---and Sugar, Spice, and Joey---miss you very much...
Posted By: Karin

Re: Meeko is sick update - Meeko has died - 12/16/06 07:33 AM

Oh my gosh, I am soooo sorry....I wanted so badly for Meeko to make it.
We will move this to Real Stories for you now frown.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meeko is sick update - Meeko has died - 12/16/06 12:27 PM

Meeko couldn't have had a better mom to love and care for him. I want to thank you and Brandon for your dedication to him, and the love you shower both the boys and girls with. I know you did everything you could have done but it was just not to be. I know that he is at the Bridge, that small part of Heaven where our babies wait for us. I have a few there myself, all were rescues, but I loved them so very much.
My heart hurts for you, Brandon, Joey and the girls. I have found the hardest part is saying goodbye. I am keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers. Please give all the babies a kiss from me.

Posted By: sugarglidersuz

Re: Meeko is sick update - Meeko has died - 12/16/06 02:31 PM

I'm so very sorry that Meeko passed over... Know that you are a great glider-mom and did everything you could for him. Take time and allow yourself to grieve. We're here for you.
hug2 hug2 hug2

Re: Meeko is sick update - Meeko has died - 12/16/06 02:58 PM

cry I'm so sorry for the loss of Meeko he was a little fighter to hang on as long as he did.

He is in a place where he is no longer feels ill and he will be with Tom at the rainbow bridge.

He will always have the memory of the love you gave him and the patience you showed him. hug2

Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meeko is sick update - Meeko has died - 12/16/06 06:04 PM

Oh Sarah,

I am so sorry for your loss. You all fought so hard.
Posted By: glidrz5

Re: Meeko is sick update - Meeko has died - 12/17/06 03:59 PM

I'm so very sorry to hear of Meekos passing. hug2 hug2 hug2
Posted By: SarahW

Re: Meeko is sick update - Meeko has died - 12/17/06 08:17 PM

Thank you for these sweet words and for everyone's sympathy. It has been hard for Brendan and I these past couple days. Brendan tells me that Joey (Meeko's cagemate for the past couple years) has been very skittish since Meeko died; it seems like he knows something is wrong but not exactly what that is yet. If Meeko didn't have an infection, we would have let the others say goodbye, but we didn't want our other three to get sick. I'm glad we have our two girls for Joey to play with.
Posted By: SarahW

Meeko's cagemate has died!!! Was: Meeko is sick - 12/18/06 05:24 PM

Oh no oh no oh no... Brendan woke up this morning to find that Meeko's cagemate, Joey, had died and was lying curled up on the floor of the cage. We had put Joey in with the girls when Meeko got sick, since it didn't seem like Joey was ill (he wasn't showing signs of lethargy or problems with breathing) and we didn't want him to get sick too. He was playing, eating and drinking normally last night. He even sang while eating dinner (his little avocado song...).

So now we are really worried about the girls, Sugar and Spice. We put Joey in the cage with them when Meeko got sick because it didn't seem like anything was wrong with Joey. But now we are worried that Joey will have passed on whatever he and Meeko had to them. We called the vet, who can't see them until 7AM tomorrow, but he said to start them on Bactrim (trimethoprim sulfa) immediately (we had some from Meeko's illness) and to sanitize everything they come in contact with (toys, food dishes, water bottles, cages, cage covers, pouches).

I've emailed the vet and Brendan with a list of tests I want them to do on the girls: fecal smear/float, UA, blood tests, lung examination, anything the vet thinks is appropriate. I'm also requesting a necroscopy on Joey. I am praying it was something like choking on food or depression or random heart attack, anything that would mean my little girls are at a lower risk of getting sick.

I'm still stuck out of town and I'm worried I'm going to lose my girls and that I won't get to say goodbye to any of my gliders. I'm so sad and worried that I'm numb. Sugar and Spice and Joey and Meeko are my little angels; they kept me sane while I was living alone and they keep me happy now. But I want them to be living angels, not guardian angels.

Brendan is beside himself with worry and blaming himself for everything. I know it's not his fault (he's good at spotting signs of illness and taking care of them) but I can't seem to convince him that things would have been the same if I were there.

I have no idea what to do... if you have any suggestions, please please post, or email me at I've had my girls for almost three years (our adoption anniversary is Jan 4) and I can't imagine life without them... I just want to cry and cry...
Posted By: SarahW

Re: Meeko's cagemate has died!!! Was: Meeko is sick - 12/18/06 05:39 PM

The one thing I am trying to keep in mind is that the girls have never been sick in three years---Spice had a sprained paw, but that was it. Joey had a UTI and this was Meeko's second sickness in a year and a half. Hopefully the girls are healthy enough to pull through...

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE keep us in your thoughts! I don't know what I would do if I lost my girls too.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meeko is sick - 12/18/06 05:42 PM

I am so sorry to hear Meeko still isn't feeling well. We will continue to keep him in our thoughts and pray for a healthy and speedy recovery.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meeko's cagemate has died!!! Was: Meeko is sick - 12/18/06 05:42 PM

oh God, I am so sorry. I really hope the vet will be able to give your girls a clean bill of health.
Posted By: SarahW

Re: Meeko's cagemate has died!!! Was: Meeko is sick - 12/18/06 06:03 PM

They will be on antibiotics just in case even if they do get a clean bill of health. I'm so worried for my little ones...
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meeko's cagemate has died!!! - 12/18/06 06:38 PM

I don't know if I can make it through this post...
My heart is broken, for you, for Brandon, and for Joey and Meeko. When they came to me they hadn't been handled in a while. Thier mother at that time went away to collage and left them with her mom who was terrified of them. She fed them and did clean the cage but she was scared to touch them. For a year they didn't have loving hands to hold them, they didn't have playtime, but they had each other and that must have helped them through that part of thier life.
One day she called here and she asked if I could take the boys until they found a home. They were here for a while before you called and asked about adopting. They were starting to trust people and I so wanted them to have more than I could give them as I have so many to care for.
They went home with you and became pampered pets, two spoiled boys who finnaly got the loving hands to hold them and the playtime they needed, and they still had each other.
Over the past few years you cared for them, loved them, introduced them to the girls who became thier compaions. I looked forward to hearing from you and getting updates on them. They had the most wonderful owner who always went the extra mile for them.
I cried when Meeko was sich and passed, and then then this morning when you called, I cried again. Becasue you will miss them, and I will miss hearing from you about the silly things they did. Becasue the girls will miss them and Brandon also.
I am so very worried about the girls, I am praying that Joey just wanted to be with Meeko so badly, they were together so long. Perhaps they had a bond that was special enough for them to be together at the bridge.
Please let me know, and if you need anything please call. I am usually not such a crybaby but when it comes to the gliders well the tears come preaty easily. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Brandon, Sugar and Spice.

My Angel

I see you in dreams now:
You vanish by day.
I wish you could linger
To hear what I say.
Like how much I love you
And need you forever.
How bonds close as ours were
Death cannot sever
I want to embrace you
And hold you so tight:
To see you at daybreak
When you melt with the night.
And yet through those mists,
I sense you are near.
Healing my sorrow,
Soothing my fear.
You’ll be my sweet angel,
To guard and to guide:
Till we’re reunited


Re: Meeko's cagemate has died!!! - 12/18/06 07:18 PM

cry I'm so sorry for the loss of your lil ones cry

You will be in my thought and prayers in your time of loss hug2

Posted By: BeckiT

Re: Meeko's cagemate has died!!! - 12/18/06 07:34 PM

I'm so sorry Sarah! Sending thoughts and prayers for the girls to get through this!
Posted By: Lucy

Re: Meeko's cagemate has died!!! - 12/18/06 07:40 PM

Sarah, Brendan definitely does need to get the girls checked out at the vet, as well. It's really unlikely that what caused Meeko and Joey died from two unrelated causes. Your other gliders are okay now, and that's the time to get them looked at and tested. At the very least you need fecal smears and floats to rule out parasites or bacterial infections. These are so common in gliders that it's always the place to start looking.

If those tests come back negative, the results of the necropsy will be all that much more important - if it's serious liver involvement and almost nothing else wrong, then you have to ask a whole different set of questions.

I'll sure be praying for your crew, and for you and Brendan as you go through this difficult time.
Posted By: SarahW

Re: Meeko's cagemate has died!!! - 12/18/06 07:59 PM

Fecal float and smear are definites for tomorrow; as well as a blood test. I hope to have UAs done, too, if Sugar and Spice cooperate.

I keep thinking about little things that make me sad. For example, right before I left home, I was telling Brendan we needed to get two more Christmas stockings for Joey and Meeko, to match the tiny ones we have for Sugar and Spice. I even looked for them in the store on Friday... I wanted to put their names on them and put a peanut in each on Christmas morning. frown
Posted By: SarahW

Re: Meeko's cagemate has died!!! - 12/19/06 09:36 PM

Here's the news from the vet:

The vet saw the girls today, checked their lungs and heart and activity levels, and palpated their abdomens. He said their lungs were clear, and their organs felt normal. We asked for a fecal smear/float, but the doctor said that since they had already had three doses of antibiotics, we were unlikely to find anything. He said to keep the girls on Bactrim, twice a day for nine more days just in case.

We also brought in Joey for the necropsy, which the vet did himself. I was happy to hear that, because he had done a two year internship in Australia after he had gotten his VMD, and he had done sugar glider necropsies before. Also, it meant we got the results today. Joey's gross (= organ) necropsy revealed some hyperemia in the lungs (= more blood in the lungs than there should be), and some spots on the liver. However, we don't know how long Joey was dead before Brendan found him (2-8 hours), and the spots on the liver are similar to those that form a few hours after death through normal deterioraton. The lungs and liver have been preserved for histological (= tissue) examination, but that will take a while because it has to be sent out, and with Christmas coming up, a lot of labs are closed this week or next.

So what does the hyperemia mean? The vet says it is consistent with a respiratory infection like Meeko's, but that Joey was hiding the symptoms better than Meeko. We might have saved him if we had brought him in with Meeko and started him on antibiotics at the same time, but perhaps not, because he only lasted two more days than Meeko did. It may also have been that the stress of being separated from Meeko, and then Meeko dying, pushed him over the edge.

The girls had been with Joey for a week, but the vet said their lungs sounded great, so he thinks they will be fine. They will stay on the meds, though, just to be sure, and Brendan is to watch them for any signs of lethargy or darker noses or other indications of a respiratory infection.

One good bit of news is that Sugar, who has been on a diet and has been exercising for the last two months, has lost 16 grams (this is expected and the weight loss is something I had noticed already, before Meeko was sick).

Please continue to keep us in your thoughts. I really so appreciate all the love, kindness and support we've received so far.
Posted By: SarahW

Re: Meeko's cagemate has died!!! - 12/19/06 09:53 PM

Oops! One thing I forgot---the Bactrim is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that works especially well on bacteria. This means that the good intestinal bacteria will be killed along with anything bad living in the girls' intestines. So, we should expect a little diarrhea from them. The vet recommended keeping fluid levels high and feeding them yogurt with active cultures during and after the medication in order to restore the normal intestinal bacteria (thank goodness they love yogurt!).

The main lesson learned from all this seems to be, make sure your bring your sick glider's cagemates in to the vet along with the sick one, just in case. I should have brought Joey in with Meeko, and maybe that would have saved him. Thank god I still have my two girls... and I am praying that my second decision, to put Joey with them, won't cause me to lose them, too.
Posted By: sugarglidersuz

Re: Meeko's cagemate has died!!! - 12/19/06 09:58 PM

Oh, Sarah! I'm so very sorry... I'll be praying for the girls that the Bactrim will help to get them healthy again...
hug2 hug2 hug2
Posted By: SarahW

Re: Meeko's cagemate has died!!! - 12/19/06 10:17 PM

One thing that is important: the girls are still acting healthy (they never appeared sick). Their lungs are clear so hopefully they ARE healthy. But the meds are just in case some nasty bugs are hanging out in their lungs, waiting to cause problems.
Posted By: jmi

Re: Meeko's cagemate has died!!! - 12/19/06 11:25 PM

Sarah I am so sorry to hear about your babies... I send my thoughts and prayers to you and your boyfriend...
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Meeko's cagemate has died!!! - 12/19/06 11:31 PM

I am sorry to hear that it is never easy to lose a glider frown
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